skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 193040 Find in a Library
Title: International Dimensions of Violence and the Police (From Policing and Violence, P 189-213, 2002, Ronald G. Burns, Charles E. Crawford, eds., -- See NCJ-193031)
Author(s): Richard H. Ward
Date Published: 2002
Page Count: 25
Sponsoring Agency: Prentice Hall Publishing
Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458
Sale Source: Prentice Hall Publishing
Criminal Justice and Police Training
1 Lake Street
Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458
United States of America
Type: Survey (Cross-Cultural)
Format: Book (Softbound)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This chapter analyzes the level and extent of police violence around the world as influenced by political, geographical, and cultural differences.
Abstract: Police violence is common throughout the world, although more so in some countries than others. This violence ranges from mistaken use of force to pathological torture or killing by individuals who are psychologically unsuited to police work. Of particular concern is violence against minority, ethnic, or religious groups, or against those who are protesting for one reason or another. There is little doubt that police in a repressive regime are more likely to use violence as a form of social control. It appears that police violence is less prevalent in countries whose populations are primarily homogeneous. In such countries there tends to be more individualistic police violence, based on situational incidents rather than innate hostility against a particular group. There does not appear to be a strong correlation between violence and organizational structure. National police forces are not too different from decentralized forces. There is evidence of systematic violence in both forms of organizations. The factors that appear to have an impact on the use of violence are the government’s political structure and philosophy, rising crime, or serious public disorder. The level of police education and training appears not to be a significant factor when measuring instances of police violence. On an international level, there are vast differences in the number of officers assaulted or killed. In the 1990's, police in South Africa were six times more likely to be killed than police in the United States. The most significant variable in reducing violence is recognition that the rule of law must be the deciding factor in solving conflicts and bringing miscreants to justice. All countries of the world need to continue to work toward the goal of developing effective and just legal systems that do not discriminate. 1 figure, 3 tables, 8 notes, 8 references
Main Term(s): Cross-cultural analyses; Foreign police; Police use of deadly force
Index Term(s): Foreign police/community relations; International police activities; Lawful use of force; Police organizational structure; Police weapons use; Professional misconduct; US/foreign comparisons
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.